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The Runner and the Path: An Athlete's Quest for Meaning in Postmodern Corporate America Hardcover – April 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Breakaway Books; First Edition edition (April 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891369288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891369285
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,439,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dean Ottati graduated first in his class from the Kellogg School of Management, the number one business school in America. He worked for many years at Motorola and now works for a video-technology start-up. He lives in Walnut Creek, California, with his wife and son. This is his first book.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
This book really hit home for me on the business stuff.
Steven Laine
This is a truly inspirational work that challenges us to face our "postmodern" human condition.
Rob Bauer
I started reading Dean Ottati's book because I'm a runner.
Judy Hession

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Walsh on April 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to admit that I'm only halfway through this book, but honestly I have put it aside for a while. Dean's book is good, but know that it's closer to a business or personal improvement book than a running book. If that is what you are looking for, this is a good one. But Dean is definitely not the next Sheehan, and his topics and style are completely different. A good book, but know what you are really getting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven Laine on May 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm not a runner and I'm not in to New Age anything, mystics, spoon benders or waterless hand cleaners, so I picked up this book with some trepidation. As a terminal businessman though, I was attracted by the title and wondered what he could possibly mean by a quest for meaning in "postmodern Corporate America"?
If you're a runner, there is a lot here that you'll find interesting, and even wonderful about this book. Read it for the great descriptions of running as a part of your life. I have to admit that I was (almost) tempted to put on some shoes and head off down the road. While I've never had even a glimmer of the draw to running that many people have, this book provided clear insights into the athletic attraction as well as the unexpected near-spiritual aspects of running.
This book really hit home for me on the business stuff. There are some very engaging anecdotes. You'll particularly enjoy them if you have a technical or telecomm background. Business books are usually devoid of any entertainment value, or even entertaining presentations of ideas; this book is compelling.
Ottati is easy to read. He has some straight-forward ideas that he gently introduces, then illustrates and expands on with stories and analogies that make clear, targeted sense. Later chapters build on ideas and stories introduced earlier.
Ottatis' thoughts are clearly presented. Interesting thoughts. Universal thoughts. Are they all entirely unique? These are mid-life ponderings that all of us have when we've gotten 20 years away from college idealism and are wondering, late at night, what it's all about. What is unique is that he has presented them in original fashion, with actual thought involved (!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Lovett on July 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"What would I do if I knew I only had one day left to live?" writes Dean Ottati in a key passage of this book (p. 223). The answer he says, is that he would start by going out to run. "During that run, I would smell each smell, the roses and the horse droppings, with equal joy. I would listen to the leaves rustling in the trees, and I would watch the red-winged blackbirds against bright yellow mustard flower . . . . I would run up the Mauler [hill] one last time. And I would thank it for remaining such a consistent challenge over the years."

Those sentiments are the core of this book. It's not about running, it's about being a runner. The distinction is critical. I am a runner and author of running books. Ottati is a runner and has written a book that tells of how running has helped to shape his life. It's a good book: in places a great one. There are insights here about the importance of various aspects of our lives: hill running, career, family, corporate negotiations. I fluctuate between a four-star and five-star review, but some of the corporate lessons seem a bit obvious. But maybe that's just me...I abandoned that career path decades ago-about the time that I myself took up running, and my interest in corporate America is inherently limited.
Highly recommended to anyone struggling to make sense of their priorities.
Especially if you also happen to be a runner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed and highly recommend The Runner and the Path. Ottati takes the reader on a wonderful journey. Whether it's facing down real coyotes on the running trails of Mt. Diablo or facing off against paper coyotes on the paths of corporate America - Dean covers nearly all the difficult facets of balancing one's life in today's America.
The focus of The Runner and the Path is Dean and his fascinating network of running partners who provide and provoke Dean's insights into the spiritual struggles of living in Post-modern America. From his faithful dog Izzy, to hot-shot corporate execs and of coruse, the inscrutable Closet Magician - Dean has run with them all. And from the first chapter on, you will want to run with them too!
The Runner and the Path has much to offer for both runner and non-runner alike. I have run sporadically over the years and Dean has renewed my interest in heading out on the trails. More importantly, having spent fourteen years in corporate America, I very much appreciated Dean's insights into the challenges of managing one's values against the frequent pressures in corporate America for results at almost any cost.
Dean's writing style is easy going and mature. He had me involved in serious introspection one minute and then laughing and grinning the next with his often Twain-like wry anecdotes.
The old Bulldog of Britain, Winston Churchill (who probably did not do much running in his life) once said:
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."
We should all thank Dean for not hurrying off! At least not without writing it down first.
I certainly look forward to his next work.
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